Admin Team Outing

We all need an escape from our daily routine – either a breath of fresh air, a dip in the pool, a view of the city lights, a special meal, or whatever personally satisfies our soul. As hardworking individuals, it is just right to treat ourselves to some pleasurable getaway from time to time. We are in modern times now and we are blessed because our pleasures in life now come in packages – you don’t have to go to distant places just to get all the relaxation you need.

Our Admin Team! Strike a pose first before anything else.

Our admin team, who are always busy like bees, had a meaningful “staycation feels” gathering at Bai Hotel last February 29-March 01, 2020. It was the perfect place and perfect time for them to look back to a month that’s gone and look forward to a month that’s coming. Nestled between two bustling cities with a spectacular harbor and city view, it offered a total package of comfort for our dedicated admin team.

Hardworking as they always are, they kicked off the event by having a meeting about the inventory of their responsibilities for the entire year. This gathering also served as a welcome party for our newly-hired office caretaker, Larry and send-off for our outgoing support staffs, Christian and Billy, who were both given new assignments. After the meeting was adjourned, the team headed to Parkmall and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner at Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly. The foodie that they are, they had a quick food trip and bought snacks right after their dinner.

They journeyed back to the hotel with satisfied stomachs and got dressed for the evening’s swim. With the infinity pool offering a magnificent view of the city lights, they had absolute fun as they swam the pool from end to end. Of course, pictorials can’t be skipped in such a memorable night. Gotta strike a pose not just for the gram, but for a memento of a night so lovely.

After several backstrokes and freestyles, they went back to their suite and had meaningful chats. Laughter filled the four-walled room as they threw jokes at each other and munched the snacks they bought earlier. The girls spent their remaining energy by doing Zumba (because eating is life but they’ve got figures to keep! LOL) while the boys dozed off silently.

Stay-in Staffs during ECQ

The COVID-19 pandemic surprised us and drastically changed our daily lives.  Our wake-up-at-6AM-to-get-to-work-by-8AM is no longer feasible. With the enhanced community quarantine and directive of the government to close all businesses except those providing basic commodities, we have come face-to-face with fear of temporarily (or worse, permanently) losing our jobs which is our main source of income. And given the crisis that we are in now, we need uninterrupted cash inflow. Thankfully, businesses responded positively and offered work-from-home arrangements to its employees, letting them take home their office items so they can still work and get paid. But, what if an employee has no means of performing work at home?

Here at AGuyIKnow, we give emphasis to the safety and well-being of our employees not just during the good times, but especially during the worst of times. Knowing well that not everyone can bring their jobs at home, stay-in option was given to those who still want to work during the quarantine period, but does not have the capability to bring their jobs to their homes. We have a total of eight (8) employees who took this option and are currently working safely in our office. We have sleeping lounge available for both men and women so availability of sleeping area is not an issue. Thankfully, our kitchen masters, Wisdom, Kuya Rammie, and Ate Grace, did not leave their roles and are with our other stay-in staffs to cook for them. Since there are only eight of them, we’ve been going extra and treated them with special desserts to at least compensate not just for their perseverance, but also for choosing to work despite being away from their families in this time of great uncertainty.

Angel, one of our QAs, expressed her worries saying, “I’m afraid for the current situation that it might get worse since the number of affected persons is growing. This might cause to extend the number of days for the lockdown here in our place.” But, being the breadwinner in the family, she expressed her gratitude for the stay-in option by saying, “Thank you for giving us an option to stay here in the office. We’re still able to work to provide the needs of our family.”

We know that these are difficult times. We understand that you fear this issue may further escalate and you might not be going home anytime soon. Please know that we are with you until this crisis ends. Remain faithful and let us heal as one. #FlattenTheCurve.

AGuyIKnow Takes Action Against COVID-19

Three months to 2020 and the world is on frenzy. A crown we fear – a novel Corona Virus – emerged, causing a pandemic we did not see coming, imposing grave threats while taking a toll on the global economy. Where do we go from here?

Here at AGuyIKnow, we prioritize our employees’ safety. We are one with the government on its endeavors on controlling the spread of this alarming virus. It has been a busy week of planning as to what best actions and preventive measures we can take to make sure each of our employee’s well-being is not compromised. Over our several meetings, we have implemented precautionary measures to combat this threat.

To promote social distancing and ensure that our employees don’t struggle with public transportation, we have implemented a carpool service. Some of our employees who have private cars volunteered as drivers. With this, our employees’ companionship is further strengthened as everyone made adjustments on their daily schedule to match with others. And since they cannot cater everyone, we have outsourced drivers who are solely servicing us. It is humbling that, even in this trying times, we are still able to provide employment to others who need it. We are also encouraging our employees to work from home so that they can be with their family while securing their jobs should the issue further escalate. Moreover, we recognize the high financial need during this crisis so we have given our employees their prorated 13th month pay as early as March 18. To avoid the deluge of customers in the grocery stores during traffic hours, we have extended our carpool service for our employees to buy their groceries during working time when there are less expected customers.

These are some of the practices that we are currently doing now to ensure our employees’ safety. We know it is difficult. To strive during these challenging times, we need to share common goals and exert collective effort. In the midst of this crisis, let us remain steadfast and faithful. Let us be hopeful that there will eventually be an end to this struggle. As how Max Ehrman puts it, “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” Stay safe, everyone!

Designers’ Team Outing

It’s been a while since our graphic designers had a team outing activity. For the year’s start, the team held its first outing last February 22-23, 2020 at a beach in Tingko, Alcoy, Cebu. The activity was spearheaded by our tenured graphic designers, namely: Prince, Angelo, Barbs, and Tibor. Our designer interns also joined the activity. They started the day by dipping themselves in the waters of Tingko and enjoyed a sumptuous lunch together (and yes, there was lechon).  After lunch, the designers and interns had random plays and concluded the night having meaningful conversations around a bonfire.

This has become like a tradition for most of us to ‘bury’ someone in the sand when we are at the beach.
On the left photo, Monique gave an iconic pose; so on the right picture, Barbs tried to do the same. Who did it better?

Since it was only a two-day outing, they left for home on Sunday morning. When you are with the best people, every enjoyable activity seems too short-lived. Nevertheless, all our designers and interns agreed that it was a chill and memorable getaway full of fun and laughter.  When asked how he felt about the recently concluded team outing, Angelo Magto, one of our tenured graphic designers, said, “Pretty memorable, because for once, we did something out of our work or office which I have always wanted to happen”. Here’s to our designer team’s first outing this year because more is coming!

Peak of Mt. Kan-Irag

A Trek To Sirao Peak

Shying away from the familiar beach trips, our developers decided to take a closer-to-mother-nature but tricky journey for their recent team outing activity. On February 23, 2020, they trekked from Barangay Budlaan to Mt. Kan-Irag or what is commonly known as Sirao Peak. They set off from Barangay Budlaan at around 10AM and arrived at the peak around 4PM. As they progress on their odyssey, they passed through scenic riverbanks and the majestic Kabang Falls. They took a quick break in the falls and marveled its glory as they made friends with other trekkers who also watched in awe as the water falls. Pressing on, they savored barbecue for lunch at a food stall they passed by. Being environmentalists at heart and living in the platitude of taking nothing but pictures, leaving nothing but footprints, and killing nothing but time, our developers picked up trash that were all over the trail and threw it properly.

After the seemingly unending climb, they reached the peak which awarded them with a panoramic view of the city below. The green meadows, the picturesque surroundings, the fresh air – worth the sweat! Truly, the best view comes after the hardest climb.

You might be wondering why it took them six hours to complete the journey. Well, it’s not because the trail is very tricky or that Sirao Peak is so far away. Rather, it’s because JK and Gil had too many cramps that they need to make several breaks along the way! What matters though is that they made it to the peak. And again, a thoughtful reminder, should you want to trek too or go anywhere, always remember what Chief Seattle said, “Take only memories, leave only footprints.”

Hearts Day 2020

Our team is mainly composed of youngsters in age and in heart.  These people are so dedicated in rendering the grind needed to get the deliverable done.  So, on Valentine’s Day, the office decided to celebrate this sense of commitment they have. Another reason for this occasion is that most of our staffs are singles!  Yes, mostly singles.  And, what better way to celebrate this Love Day is for us to gather around and express our appreciation for each one’s effort.

Group picture before dinner time!
We still managed to smile though our tummies made some noises already. 🙂

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a little game to break in the hectic schedule on this normal working day.  And, during any office events, our Admin Staffs will always take charge in organizing the flow of events and in decorating the venue; therefore, this one is no exception. 

Later that night, we indulged in the most awaited part which is the dinner buffet.  Everyone enjoyed the foods served, but most of all, each staff relished chatting with everyone around along with some social drinks.

A look back at 2019

This year has been the busiest for us by far.  We welcomed it in January by conducting a seminar that covered the topics “Shaping your Career,”  “Fundamentals of 2D editing,” “Overview of Adobe After Effects,” “Attributes of a QA” and “How the Internet Works” to a group of USJR CICCT students in their Basak Campus.

Bien, giving the introduction during the USJR Seminar.

In the succeeding month, we took a big decision to move our office to a new location.  Thus, the first quarter was mostly spent in looking for a bigger and better venue.  And in good fortune, we were able to make a great deal with our current lessor and has made the transfer in April.

Melody, Andrei of Matahom Mural Commission, and the design.

However, while we were still occupying the previous space, the team events were never hampered.  We enjoyed hunting for eggs during our Easter activity and watched one of the year’s movie hits, “Avenger’s: End Game.”

Inside the SM Seaside Cinema before the movie started.

Gram, our founder, has made his “comeback” to the Philippines when the office transfer was completely done in May.  Though he wasn’t able to join the office blessing in June, he made sure that we’ll have the best time with him during our Monteray Team Building.

Gram, giving out his wacky pose in a photo op with the Graphic Designs team.

In August, we gladly received and oriented our thirteen CTU interns.  The first batch of OJT’s to render service in our new site.  Since then, more affairs took place like our own version of “Dota 2: The Intenationale” and the “Halloween Party 2019” which were both collaborated events with the “South.gg” organization. These events promoted the spirit of sportmanship among the employees.

Naomi and Melody during the OJT orientation.
The talented Champions of “The Internationale” AGuyIKnow & South.gg version.
Six team representatives during their Halloween opening dance number.

It was also awesome that Gram was able to visit the PH site for the second time in October engaging each staff in a one-on-one talk.  He further brought Prince, our Senior Graphic Designer, along with him to Australia for a product training.  This event was so significant because Gram was able to fulfil his self-promise to visit the local team at least once a year.  Moreover, this is the first time that a Cebu-based staff was sent to the main office for a business trip.  This drove us to exert extra effort so this will hopefully become the “first of many.”

The Duo’s twofie in Australia.

And finally, when December came, it has become customary to our team to always close the year by conducting an outreach program where we share anything that we would like to our less fortunate fellows.  In this year, we chose to conduct a “Gift giving” to the homeless people of Cebu City.  The experience was totally different than the ones we had in the previous years’ outreach programs yet it has still made us feel fulfilled. It has always been our wonderful year-ender.

The recipients falling in line during the distribution of packed gifts.

The Internationale AGuyIknow & South.gg Dota 2 Championships 2019

This is a company event only, just using the hype of making the event look like The International, no copyright infringement intended.

Here are the participating teams and their rosters.

To make the tournament more exciting and dynamic, the roster is shuffled according to their respective MMRs’. Each team has high and low-level MMRs’ so that each match will not be one-sided matches.

Team Unsolid
Bien Castanares, Neil Mark “Monsterdudz” Basinillo, Mark Vincent “1” Abrao, Rodrigo “RGZ” Isabelo Jr. and Helvert Jess “Trev” Tagaan.
Team Eru
Archie Maraasin, Marc Louie “MCFAITH?” Cabigas, Carl “CaS^” Sita, Gil Ralph “Destrozo” Canedo, and Bretz Llyod.
Team Daks
Bob “Bachisi” Tagulob, Ben Amiel “Benz” Castanares, Marwin Joseph “Pain” Medado, John Carlo “JCM” Manolong, and Christian “Bosskie”.
Team YSSNP Eater
Carlo “80/20″ Chan, Prince Repollo, Wisdom Lazaga, Junn Neil”Puppy.Cholo” Baldoza, Crisanto Baracao,
Team PSC.LGBT
Olem “Ava” Babia, Davien Ashely “Bread” Barba, Stephen “Alice” Balansag, Alfred “Tabs” Tabasa, and Jenard Sasan
Team TrashThrowers
Mel Raymond “Muffy” Salma, Ian “Giro” Castanares, Kerwin Jacosalem, John Mark “Kunichiyawa” Mutia, and Tiborsho.
Team I’mmortal.GG
John Kevin ” Eyouth ” Cadungog, Michael ” Savage ” Estopa, Gerald Palarion, John Jess “PoorNetConnection*” Bayutas, and Jm “lizzie” Bacayo.
Jeanard Intension Cantalejo, Franco Delos Santos, Jeff Palapar, Bernard Chua, and Donald

This tournament is also a way for the company to bound other employees and makes a friendship out of the likes of the employee, which is Dota2.

How it all started – part 3

In about 3 months from now, our venture will be hitting the 3 years milestone. 
And we are still growing. Every staff has experienced growth. 
As time passed, our first batch of interns finished their internship with us. 

We are very thankful to the pioneering batch from USJ-R. (University of San-Jose Recolletos).
The first batch to complete their internship were Angelo, Barbs and Bryan.
They worked as designer interns and we learned a lot from them, especially in After Effects.
They finished their internship around June 2017.

Shortly after the first batch completed their internship with us, the 2nd batch, also from USJ-R finished. 
The 2nd batch were Christine and Trina, and they pioneered our project tracking.
They did our bug, test and feature request documentations.
They finished their internship around mid August 2017.

Below are pictures of the first and second batch interns, completing their internship with us.

 

PS. Barbs got absorbed and is now working full time with us.
He is one of our most creative designers right now.

3rd batch of interns were Daniel and Bea, also from USJ-R, they were awesome developers. 
Complimenting each other as front and back end  web developers.

4th batch of interns were Kobe, Manuel and Alliza, they were from DMC College Foundation.
Both Manuel and Kobe were excellent coders. they learned laravel prior to starting their internship, and were very skilled when they finished.
Alliza also was an excellent QA intern, assisting Michelle and the developers with their task documentation and testing.

The 3rd and 4th batch finished their internships on December 2017.

Below are pictures of the third and fourth batch interns, completing their internship with us.

 

And the 5th batch of interns are from Professional Academy of the Philippines
The new interns from PAP are Mcfloat, Stephen and Krislyn.
There are also 2 interns from USJ-R in this batch, one of which is Christine (her 2nd internship with us). And the other is Charlyn.
Another intern is Junrey, from Salazar Colleges of Science Institute and Technology (SCSIT).
Mcfloat and Stephen are our laravel interns.
Christine, Chrislyn and Charlyn are our QA interns.
And Junrey is our lone designer intern right now.

We also have a new full time laravel developer, John Wick. (Don’t kill his dog or you will regret it)

How it all started – part 2

After our first year of operations in the Philippines, we are now ready for growth again.

After getting comfortable in our new office, we added a new department along with a new project.
Walah! The developers team was born!
Initially composed of Goks, Punx and Umar, we started the development of whitebelt.co

But then Goks and Punx left, and we are left with Umar. And so we got Olem and JK.
We also have a permanent cook now, Ate Yang2.
We also had to expand to a bigger office and we got the adjacent room next door. (Door R).

July 2016, new lockers were added to accommodate more staff’s laptops

 

2016 November team building activity. We went bowling at SM seaside.

 

2016 December team dinner at Casa Verde

 

At December 2016, Gram visited for the 2nd time and we played beer pong with the team.

Gram’s 2nd visit, picture taken inside door S

 

Gram’s 2nd visit, picture taken outside door S. Playing beer pong with Gram before his flight next day.

 

Gram’s 2nd visit, Umar beating Gram in the beer pong championship game

 

Gram’s 2nd visit, picture taken at door R

Even though Angelo was working with us full time since the beginning, he did his CIT internship with us on 2016. Technically he is the first intern we had, and got absorbed. Now he is our mobile developer.
At the start of our 2017, we started accepting interns from other schools. First interns we got are from University of San Jose Recolletos, my Alma matter.

We got Bryan, a few days later, Barbs and Angelo(another Angelo) started their internship with us also.
All 3 worked as designer interns, processing videos using adobe after effects.

We also hired our first internal QA Michelle by the month of February.

Visible in the picture, closest to the camera is Angelo, the new intern and Barbs. To the right of Barbs is Michelle, and behind her is Bryan.

 

Door R, the kitchen, and the pantry. 1 room is for the cook and the other room used as an office for the designers and their interns.

 

Designers meeting. Michelle is the QA for the designers, and new faces are Barbs and Angelo which are designer interns.

 

Designers room at door R. housing Brocs and 2 interns, Angelo and Barbs.

In April, Barbs, Angelo and Bryan are finishing their internship hours with us. We added 2 new interns, this time for the web development QAs.
New interns were Trina and Christine. And for the summer time intern, we have Amiel, who work as the new designer intern.

2017 new QA interns in action, Christine and Trina

2017 Brocs Brithday, in yellow is Amiel, our new summer intern

Angelo and Barbs interns with Brocs and Prince in the Door R designers room

Developers and QAs in the door S unit

Late in April, we had our 2nd major team building activity at Villa Mara, Minglanilla Cebu.

This concludes our 2 years of operation. Part 3 will be posted soon with updates starting from May 2017 up until recent day of 2018.

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